Don’t smear my daughter’s name, pleads Vasanthapiriya’s dad

Muniandy-Ratnam-Vasanthapiriya-1BUTTERWORTH: “Stop smearing the name of my child.”

This was the appeal made by the father of student M Vasanthapiriya, who hanged herself after being accused of stealing her teacher’s mobile phone.

The 13-year-old student of SMK Methodist in Nibong Tebal, near here, died without regaining consciousness at the Seberang Jaya Hospital in the early hours of Feb 1.

Speaking to reporters today, Muniandy Ratnam, 54, refuted reports of video evidence showing his daughter was the one who took the mobile phone.

Muniandy, 54, and his wife, A Malarvely, 51, also denied speculation that she had slit her wrists on previous occasions.

“We never had to take her to the hospital before this. There are no hospital records or police reports. You can also check the clinics.

“She had no wounds on her body,” he told reporters at his home in Kampung Tong Hai here today.

The father was referring to remarks allegedly made by Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan about Vasanthapiriya’s alleged previous suicide attempts.

“I wish to tell Kamalanathan that I know my daughter. I raised her and I educated her. She has never done this before.

“And to the public, I wish to say: do not make comments that will cause us more pain. We are already reeling from the pain of losing our youngest daughter.”

Muniandy also expressed sadness over a news report stating there was video evidence allegedly showing Vasanthapiriya taking the teacher’s mobile phone.

Muniandy maintained that Vasanthapiriya never had disciplinary issues in school and was very friendly to everyone, regardless of race or religion.

“Even when people did not talk to her, she would still smile at them. She was very warm to all. She loved talking and exchanging views. She was very loving and bubbly.”

Vasanthapiriya had aspired to be a doctor, Muniandy said. She loved drawing and singing.

It is understood that Muniandy was going to have his statement taken by the South Seberang Perai district police later today.

Vasanthapiriya was reported to have hanged herself in her room after she was accused of stealing her teacher’s mobile phone.

The suicide attempt left her in a coma for a week. She died on Feb 1.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that police were still waiting for a forensic report on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) recording from a school in Nibong Tebal to identify the individual who stole the teacher’s mobile phone.

Penang police chief A Thaiveegan said based on initial investigations, police could not confirm whether the image of an individual in the CCTV was the Form Two student who committed suicide due to the poor quality of the visual.

“So far I am not able to confirm … it was difficult to ascertain the image in the footage.

“We need forensic experts to improve the picture quality and so far we are still waiting,” he said when commenting on a newspaper report which quoted police sources as confirming the school CCTV recording showed the 14-year-old female student stole the teacher’s mobile phone.

Thaiveegan said the news report could affect ongoing investigations.

Asked when the CCTV footage was given to the forensic team, he said the recording was handed over as soon as investigations began.

On when the investigation papers on the case would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers after three earlier investigation papers were returned, Thaiveegan said it depended on how soon the CCTV forensic report could be obtained.